Kaboom! Manhattan Project Opera Hits New York; See Nuclear Test Site For Real in New Mexico
Even for regular opera-goers, the Met's production of the new opera "Doctor Atomic" is big--and not just because it contains a bomb. The ambitious piece, written by Peter Sellars, had its world premiere in San Francisco in 2005, and attempts to depict the first ever nuclear bomb test conducted by J. Robert Oppenheimer without resorting to movie-style special effects, filling its characters' mouths with lines from the Bhagavad Gita and poet John Donne.
It was for Donne that the test was named Trinity, represented by the goosebump-inducing Act I finale. All that, and it's an opera too! You can catch the ambitious, extensive "Doctor Atomic" at the Metropolitan Opera through November 15.
Want to see where the real Doctor Atomic tested out his first creation? The "Trinity" site, where that first bomb--known only as "the gadget"--was detonated is marked by this obsidian obelisk. But it's only open the first Saturdays of April and October, so plan your trip to Socorro, New Mexico carefully. The site is still radiated well above an average patch o'grass, but yes, it is completely safe to visit.
· Watch Scenes from "Doctor Atomic" [NYT]
· Meet Trinity [Los Alamos National Laboratory]
· Meltdowns, Atom Smashers and Bunkers in Switzerland [Jaunted]